RT: ‘US spends millions on overseas propaganda, but no one is buying it’

Published time: February 26, 2015 12:24

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)r

Despite the US’ bottomless PR budget to influence overseas, people are not attracted by what’s on offer as they are tired of US interventionism, exceptionalism, and the bombing of their countries, Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute told RT.

US Secretary of the State, John Kerry, said he is concerned the US is falling behind when it comes to putting out information. He stressed that RT’s influence is growing worldwide and the US doesn’t have“an equivalent that can be heard in Russian.” Claiming that RT has huge costs he asked for money to be provided for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in the US. RT’s budget for 2015 is $220 million while the budget of the BBG is $721 million. Kerry also heaped praise on the appointment of Andrew Lack as a head of BBG who recently put RT into the same context as ISIS and Boko Haram.

Read more: For propaganda & ‘democracy promotion’: State Dept seeks budget to counter RT

RT: John Kerry insinuated the US is losing the public relations war with Russia. What do you make of that?

Daniel McAdams: The numbers speak louder than words: $700 and some million versus $200 and some, maybe up to $300 million for RT. I think the problem the US has is they have an unlimited advertising budget, but the product they’re selling is not very attractive overseas. People are tired of US interventionism; they’re tired of US exceptionalism; they’re tired of the US bombing their country – if you’re a Somali, you don’t care about listening to a radio broadcast from the US, you just wish the US would stop bombing you.

Andrew Lack (Reuters / Phil McCarten)

Andrew Lack (Reuters / Phil McCarten)

But I’ll say one thing: the BBG budget is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how the US government influences media overseas. There’s probably another $100 million in direct support to so-called ‘independent news publications’ overseas, and these are all different newspapers and broadcasting outfits that tow the US line that aren’t directly US-related.

There are also various programs within the US government. There is a program that brought over about a thousand journalists from overseas to come train in the US; this is one of the State Department projects. And just one bureau of the State Department has by their account 86 media programs overseas. Even the $700 million figure… is just a tip of the iceberg on how much the US spends to influence the media overseas. And, sorry, the effect is not very good.

RT: Given what you’ve just said, do you think there will be people in the US government that might disagree with John Kerry?

DM: Yes, then there is a solution- you got to double the money. They want to double the money to sell something that nobody is buying – that is the problem. The problem is the policy, not the PR that tries to sell the policy. In that hilarious clip from Victoria Nuland, she says: “Oh, RT is just a tiny audience and we have a great wonderful diversity in the media in the US.” Sorry, that is not the case. I’m personally not a fan of any government-funded media, but the fact of the matter is that the so-called private media in the US marches lockstep in line with the White House and the State Department, there is no diversity in the mainstream media. So she is just absolutely wrong in what she says.

RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov

RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov

RT: What’s the reason do you think that RT is getting so much attention amongst the US government officials at the moment?

DM: You have alternative people like The Ron Paul Institute on your program… The fact that you have diverse and interesting shows, you challenge the paradigm, and people are interested in that. People are tuning out of new news in the US at record levels – they don’t watch TV news, they don’t take newspapers. It’s all boring; they all say the same things. When something comes along the alternative media is a different story in the US and it is growing by leaps and bounds. People that are offering a different perspective – Americans are increasingly finding it very attractive.

RT: Do you think that there is any significance in the timing of Mr. Kerry’s remarks?

DM: I think he is always looking at a way to poke Russia, and he is also looking for a way to get more money, there is never enough money for these things. That is all about spending the money and influencing things overseas.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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6 Responses to RT: ‘US spends millions on overseas propaganda, but no one is buying it’

  1. tubularsock says:

    It is amazing that Americans are the last to know ANYTHING, except Kardashian’s butt size!

  2. 1EarthUnited says:

    Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    Lol, Kerry u still don’t get it! It’s not the size of the budget but the quality of the content. If US MSM actually told the truth, there would be no need for everyone to watch RUSSIA TODAY to get the facts about what’s really going on. Alas Kerry and crew are not capable of telling the truth? Perhaps they have a bigger agenda… like imperial domination of the world? RT’s viewership would only increase, esp on the net where there’s no news censorship. That means you lose Kerry!

  3. Ken Harris says:

    I have a friend who lives in Ukraine. We have been friends for a long time, however the friendship has become severely strained because of the western propaganda being disseminated. I say this because my conversations with him have indicated to me the depth of belief he and others around him have that the US and EU are the friends of Ukraine, and that Russia is the enemy. It doesn’t help that he and his friends have a deep seated hate for Russia, based on the old soviet regime. The media, no matter what venue, has used that old hatred to deeply embed the western point of view, no matter how right or wrong it may be. The concept that the Kiev government MAY be responsible for the downing of KH17 throws them into a tailspin and lets loose a barrage of vitriol. He and his friends refuse to entertain even the remotest possibility that they may be wrong in their assessment of the US/UK/NATO’s intentions or that the current civil war is by design.

    To some degree, I agree with RT’s assessment that the US propaganda stream is looked upon with derision and for the most part disregarded. But based on my conversations with my Ukraine friend, when there is a deeply seated dissatisfaction with some aspect of the current government, the US propaganda stream is very effective at amplifying that dissatisfaction into a movement that leads to regime change. I think the paid for agent provocateurs of the US do not need to do much to excite an already amplified dissatisfaction into riotous chaos. Yes, for the most part, educated individuals would think twice before buying into the info, but among those with a mind more willing to accept lies as truth the wedge is driven.

    So RT is a threat to the shadow government here in the US primarily, not so much against a Russia hating populace, and probably more so in the rest of the world. All I know is this, the truth must be revealed to all for any change to foment, and RT has probably been the greatest media vehicle to making that happen. Lets hope that others also come to that realization, and breakaway from the constant brainwash of the MSM.

    • Jean says:

      Thank God we have RT giving the other side of the story, Ken. We get to share it, and if the West/NATO goes too far, we have the record of the proof of the truth. . . Not a very nice situation to contemplate, but I also think it has caused them to refrain from some of their diabolical ideas. Thanks and hugs, ~Jean

    • Jean says:

      Thank God we have RT giving the other side of the story, Ken. We get to share it, and if the West/NATO goes too far, we have the record of the proof of the truth. . . Not a very nice situation to contemplate, but I also think it has caused them to refrain from implementing some of their diabolical ideas. Thanks and hugs, ~Jean

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